Rebels without a cause

Naipaul’s character Willie Chandran was idle, hopping from one bed to another until he joined the Naxalite movement and finally surrendered to the police. Pardoned for his trespasses, Chandran returned to England and settled for an 8: 00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. job.

Rebels without a cause
Photo : Surujrattan Rambachan

There are many rebels in the country. They have no commitment except talks. Had they any they would have committed themselves to an organization. A few may argue that who are you to judge people’s commitment? I agree that it is wrong to weigh or judge commitment but I am of the firm view that working with a group is essential to appreciate diverse views and develop tolerance.

Social interaction and emotional intelligence is not like writing an examination and getting a certificate. It is learned only by participation. Could you imagine someone wanting to learn swimming by reading a book and not entering the water? That is the predicament that face many people today…talk, talk and more talk. You learn social skills by doing! 

Naipaul’s character Willie Chandran was idle, hopping from one bed to another until he joined the Naxalite movement and finally surrendered to the police. Pardoned for his trespasses, Chandran returned to England and settled for an 8: 00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. job. An 8 to 4 job may appear routine and boring but it helps to build character. Ravi Dev’s column in ICDN may not be the best but the fact that he delivers it routinely tells of his character-one of grit and determination and a fearlessness to comment on the political events of day in Guyana.

Sewdas Sadhu built the temple in the sea at Waterloo after his mandir on land was bulldozed and he was fined and sentenced to jail. Villagers will tell you that he had a bicycle and with two buckets hanging on either side of the handle bar he transported gravel to build the temple. Today his story is legendary.

The same can be said about wealthy families. They build wealth slowly saving $2 every day, and making a deposit of $40 dollar at the end of the month. A businessman who owns two properties on Chaguanas Main Road told me that when he started business he would go to the bank to deposit $200 every week (this was in the 1980s). The opposite to this are those who stand in line before a lotto machine during the day with the hope that they would have a financial windfall! 

Photo : Richard Branson

The story of the tortoise and the rabbit has a profound lesson. The rabbit, too confident, rested while the tortoise preserved and in the final analysis won the race. It is not high IQ that wins; it is emotional intelligence. Longitudinal studies have shown that the person with discipline and commitment succeeds; not the so called “bright” and talented individuals. Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence concludes that it is not the brightest from the top universities that make it in big in business and politics but those with the ability to harness their emotions and work with others.

Malcom Gladwell’s David and Goliath tells stories of individuals with handicaps who made it big including Richard Branson, who, though handicapped with dyslexia never allowed it to deter his ambition. Gary Cohn, an economist and investment banker who had similar challenges, went on to serve as President of Goldman Sachs and economic adviser to the President of the USA.

Suruj Rambachan is one who can be described as consistent and determined. His involvement in Hindu dharma was not a quick fix but for many years from a child in Avocat. At secondary school and university, he continued his journey to promote Hindu dharma despite obstacles thrown at him. After graduating Suruj along with his brother introduced yagyas where Vedanta was taught. This was pioneering work and a break from the traditional interpretation of Hindu dharma.

Rambachan’s defeat at the polls in 1981 did not end his political ambition. He returned in 1983 when he was appointed chair of the St Patrick Country Council. In the NAR he served as Ambassador to Brazil. In the UNC term in office he served with distinction in several ministries.

As MP for Tabaquite Rambachan addressed years of neglect. Today the constituents of Tabaquite can boast that their physical infrastructure is second to none.

There are so many simple people who have done well for themselves. They continue to do what has to be done and in the long run have made a success of their lives in their own way. They are unlike a few who continue to be busy pulling down others and attacking them in the most vicious and desperate manner.